U.S. stocks staged an afternoon rally to finish little changed, shrugging off a renewed rout in crude sparked by concern that China's economy is slowing. The dollar declined after a Federal Reserve official said policy moves are not predetermined amid recent market turmoil.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell just short of a third day of gains after erasing all of a 1 percent decline amid advances in consumer and technology shares. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4 percent as Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said market turbulence's impact on U.S. growth will factor into officials' policy decision. Crude fell more than 6 percent, halting the longest winning run this year after after an index of Chinese manufacturing dropped to a three-year low. Treasuries fell.
Fischer's dovish comments added to optimism among equity investors recently emboldened by signals from central banks in Europe and Japan that they stand ready to do what is needed to spur growth. The advance in American benchmarks even as crude retreated decoupled, at least temporarily, assets that have moved in lockstep so far this year.
Investors are also looking to U.S. data for indications of the health of the world's biggest economy and the possible trajectory of interest rates. Household spending cooled in December, while consumer purchases were little changed. A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed manufacturing contracted in January.